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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Barclaycard and Orange team on contactless m-payments

Barclaycard and wireless operator Orange have formed a strategic alliance that will see them push through the development and adoption of contactless mobile payments services.

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Barclays and Orange Team Up For Some Cheap Spin

Hardly mobile transactions. No different than sticking a chip to your shoe and waving your number 10's at the reader.

While it is nice cheap spin it really isn't mobile, you need a reader plugged in somewhere for a start. I can understand Barclays wanting to leverage all that hardware and Chip and PIN infrastructure they shelled out for.

I watch, with interest, the growing number of bright young things staying at home, with little else to do but listen to the grandparents lament the loss of their retirement nest-egg blaming those banks.

I expect the always rising level of hacking and breaches we've seen in recent times will seem like a day at the fair, compared with what is to come.

It would be particularly unfortunate if the the existing methodology suffered a bit of a setback causing what little trust that remains to evaporate as fast as their customer's remaining funds.

I could be wrong, but I think I'm doing pretty well so far.

By all means give it a go, but don't call it mobile transactions, and a tenner isn't going to get you far with merchants. It's almost an admission of the ridiculousness of the solution, and it's level of risk. Although it probably has one advantage, a thief is probably not going to bother stealing a phone for a few tenners just yet.

Just for a little perspective.

What percentage of Barclay's customers are with Orange? -  They claim around 15 million UK customers and 182 million worldwide.

I expect they've had time to improve since the BBC Watchdog survey in 2007 which suggested Orange had the highest number of dissatisfied broadband customers, and two-thirds of Orange customers experienced problems canceling their Orange broadband.

Barclaycard has previously worked with mobile operator O2 on a contactless payments and Oyster mobile trial on the London Underground. That partnership is over.

A spokesperson for Orange was quoted admitting: "The contactless payment vision is somewhat further off".

"At the moment the partnership is with Orange so we're going to develop what we can, as much as we can," she said, adding that both parties are committed to bringing m-payments to the market "as quickly as possible".

It does seem like starting from behind the 8ball, especially when we see how few phones you are yet to get manufacturers to make, and then have the customers buy, before it is realistic, in terms of revenue creation, rather than attrition.

Sounds a little thin, especially on the profit side of the balance sheet.

I remain convinced that the present transaction systems are critically lacking both convenience and fraud prevention.

I would be surprised if the governments, which currently seem to own a lot of banks, will see much humour in the growing identity theft and fraud problems. They are convening security committees all over the place and there is only one conclusion they could possibly come to -

The architecture and processes currently used for financial transaction and identity systems are inadequate at the best of times - and unfortunately we are entering a period of something less.

I don't think Barclays get's much credit for another 'going to'.


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19 Mar 2009


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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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